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Category Archives: Commonality

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Despite Wal-Mart Stores v. Dukes, Ninth Circuit approves statistical sampling to prove that an “unofficial” common policy exists

Posted in Class Certification, Commonality, Employment

There seem to be two prevailing conceptions of class actions.  In one view, a class action is a way of determining many similar claims at once by evaluating common evidence that reliably establishes liability (and lays a ground work for efficiently calculating damages) for each class member.  That is, the class device produces the same… Continue Reading

Fourth Circuit puts teeth into ascertainability, commonality, and predominance requirements for class certification

Posted in Ascertainability, Class Certification, Commonality, Predominance

Sometimes it’s hard to know who’s in a class without substantial individualized inquiries.  Can a court certify a class of persons with allegedly similar injuries by pigeonholing the question of class membership as a question of damages to be determined later?  Not so fast, the Fourth Circuit held in EQT Production Co. v. Adair (pdf).  A class… Continue Reading

California Court Says No Need To Resolve Disputes Over Substantive Law In Evaluating Whether Class Can Be Certified

Posted in Class Certification, Commonality, Employment, Predominance

Suppose that you’re a trial court considering a motion for class certification.  And suppose that the parties present you with two competing statutory interpretations.  One legal standard permits the case to be adjudicated with common evidence.  And the other standard would require  individualized inquiries.  What should you do?  Should you decide what the law is… Continue Reading

Two Washer Cases Provide the Supreme Court with Its Best Opportunity Since Wal-Mart v. Dukes to Make Sense of Class-Certification Standards

Posted in Class Certification, Commonality, Predominance, U.S. Supreme Court

At its conference on January 10, the Supreme Court can get serious about fixing consumer class actions. The Justices should take up that challenge, because it will consider two certiorari petitions that seek review of class certifications—involving alleged “moldy odors” in high-tech front loading washing machines—that are prime examples of what has gone wrong with… Continue Reading

Can Securities Fraud Defendants Rebut Price Impact To Avoid Class Certification?

Posted in Class Certification, Commonality, Predominance, Securities

In Section 10(b) securities-fraud cases based on affirmative misrepresentations, a class action cannot be certified unless investor reliance is presumed under the fraud-on-the-market theory of Basic, Inc. v. Levinson, 485 U.S. 224 (1988). In Erica P. John Fund, Inc. v. Halliburton Co., 131 S. Ct. 2179 (2011), the Supreme Court ruled that a plaintiff does… Continue Reading

Do the Plaintiffs Lack Standing or Are Their Claims Simply Meritless—or Both?

Posted in Adequacy, Class Action Trends, Class Certification, Commonality, Predominance, Typicality

Here’s the situation: You’re facing a class action in federal court in which the plaintiffs define the putative class so broadly as to encompass many people who weren’t injured by the alleged wrongdoing. For example, consider a false-advertising class action on behalf of “all purchasers” of a product that the vast majority of purchasers would… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Denies Review In NECA-IBEW Case

Posted in Adequacy, Class Certification, Commonality, Predominance, Securities, Typicality

We’ve been blogging about the Second Circuit’s decision in NECA-IBEW Health & Welfare Fund v. Goldman Sachs (pdf), which held that a named plaintiff in a securities fraud suit might have standing in some situations to assert class action claims regarding securities that he or she never purchased. Yesterday, the Supreme Court denied (pdf) Goldman’s petition… Continue Reading

Wall Street Journal Editorial Calls for Supreme Court Review in Whirlpool Corp. v. Glazer

Posted in Appeals, Class Certification, Commonality, Predominance, U.S. Supreme Court

The Wall Street Journal recently published an editorial urging the Supreme Court to grant the petition for certiorari (pdf) in Whirlpool Corp. v. Glazer—a petition filed by my colleagues Stephen Shapiro, Jeffrey Sarles, and Tim Bishop. The petition seeks review of a decision by the Sixth Circuit (pdf), which affirmed the certification of a class of Ohio… Continue Reading